We don’t tend to think of healthcare institutions, large or small, as places in need of “management” in the same sense that we do of many businesses and enterprises. It’s anathema to some, thinking of healthcare as a business-like entity in need of managers and administrators. The fact remains, however, that it does rely on these things.
Therefore, healthcare institutions need effective management that employs the best industry practices. The following is some insight into what are widely considered to be the best practices in healthcare management.
Open-Mindedness to New Ideas and Methods
A healthcare institution that is not open to new ideas and tools to put into the hands of its practitioners is one that will quickly fall behind best practice and will become backward. It’s not all about fancy new medical machines, even a seemingly simple addition like allied health client appointments software helps.
Hospitals need to make use of various kinds of software, and even AI systems and robots to assist their staff in doing their job properly. When you create better systems and introduce the latest methods, you invariably start to reduce the room for human error and bad practices, thus reducing overall deaths and improving healthcare outcomes.
Data Collection and Analysis
Good management of virtually any kind in the 21st century runs on data. The more data you can collect, the more informed you are and thus the better decisions can be made. There are still too many people who just want to run hospitals on pure instinct, just letting senior staff members make the calls wherever necessary. Employing data isn’t about questioning or de-fanging those senior staff members, but about furnishing them with usable facts.
If a hospital determines, for instance, that demand in a certain department has started a trend of decline, then data will show that trend in its early stages, allowing hospitals to better plan the allocation of resources over the next several years. What data collection also therefore helps to do is to cut down on waste.
Strong, Active and Knowledgeable Leadership
Hospital managers need to be able to lead by example and put words into action. There is always a lot of political talk about fixing public healthcare and holding private healthcare institutions more accountable, but change only really comes when hospital administration takes matters in hand, spells out plans and then acts on them.
When one leading institution gets it right, others will begin to follow suit. These practices of leadership, strength, and the application of scientific knowledge (data), when used by the “big boys” will be then emulated throughout the wider system.
Building a Strong Culture of Communication
Hospitals and many secondary schools share a common flaw when it comes to communication, and that’s a lack of unity and cohesion between different departments. Just as humanities teachers fight with arts, science and PE teachers for resources, various hospital departments do the same, acting more like a loose coalition of warring tribes rather than a unified hospital team.
One way to solve this in hospitals is for its administrators and leaders to promote a strong culture of communication. Rather than pandering and playing department heads off against each other, those following best practices will communicate the reality to different departments and make the right decisions based on real data.
Flexibility and Acceptance of the Need to Improve
Finally, any medical institution of any size that’s worth a dime will readily and openly accept that there’s always room to improve. When hospitals, clinics and other establishments get complacent, thinking that they’re doing everything right and are immune from public scrutiny or criticism, that’s when things start to go very wrong.